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Recent research studies indicate that prison officers are suffering ever greater levels of physical and emotional stress and governors speak of long working hours and increased workload. This event will discuss the origins of the high levels of stress and low levels of well-being experienced when working in the prison service.


In the context of austerity, the budgets of the prison service have tumbled across the last five years. This has led to a cut in staffing budgets in particular and prison staff have all had to work more intensively to compensate.

Recent studies undertaken by our speakers suggest that these developments have made a stressful job all the more difficult. At this seminar, we will discuss the harms inherent to working in prisons and the impact of austerity.


Professor Gail Kinman is Director of the Research Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire. Gail's research interests focus on work-related stress and how it affects the wellbeing and work-life balance of employees. She has recently researched prison officer health for the Prison Officer's Association.

Dr Steve French lectures in Industrial Relations at Keele University. Steve has undertaken research upon the workloads and work-life balance of Head Teachers (for the NAHT) and Civil Servants (for the PCS) and more recently of prison governors (for the PGA).

Dr Emma Walker is undertaking doctoral research Birmingham City University on the psychological health and wellbeing of prison officers working at HMP Grendon, and works as a Research Associate at Ulster University.

Dr Jamie Bennett, Governor of HMP Grendon and Springhill, will be first respondent. Jamie is editor of the Prison Service Journal and has recently published The Working Lives of Prison Managers: Global Change, Local Culture and Individual Agency in the Late Modern Prison.

Venue, time and date

March 1st, 2016 12:30 PM to  3:00 PM
Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
2 Langley Lane
London, SW8 1GB
United Kingdom
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